Remote working looks set to continue well into 2021, and who knows for many businesses it may become a permanent thing. Businesses looking to make remote working as easy and productive as office working are realising the benefits of Desktop as a Service (DaaS); and those businesses that still need an on-premise workforce are also seeing cost savings, increases in flexibility and improvements in security and compliance by outsourcing management of PC desktop environments to cloud services providers using Desktop as a Service.
What is Desktop as a Service DaaS?
Desktop as a Service or DaaS for short, gives businesses personal computer desktops, hosted on cloud-based servers in public cloud environments. It is subscription based and provides on-demand virtualised desktops including standard operating systems plus the core business applications normally installed on local PCs.
What are the top reasons for deploying Desktop as a Service in 2021?
Easier and Faster for people working from home
As home working is going to continue to be the norm for much of 2021 Desktop as a Service will provide the ideal platform so that everyone can work from home but continue to use all the same shared applications, data, and documents that their office-based colleagues do, and the user experience will be identical.
Reduce IT Support Costs
Let’s consider a traditional, on premise, computer setup. Users work on desktops in the office, shared documents are saved on file servers, application data is stored on database servers, kept in a server room in the building. All of which needs to be licenced, supported and maintained. In some organisations the business may employ IT support personnel, or contract an external support company to look after this environment.
With DaaS the following support tasks are either removed or reduced.
- Application updates are done just once, on the DaaS service virtual machines. No longer do support personnel need to visit each desktop to update software. This is especially pertinent when you have a remote work force.
- No need to implement and manage remote access using VPN or similar. Reliance on expensive, highly secure, firewalls is reduced.
- No need to manage or support the back-end infrastructure. The DaaS provider will look after all the cloud infrastructure maintenance, security patches, updates, operating system refreshes, anti-virus, other regular tasks, and most importantly backing up the data.
- Standardised user interface, with a managed desktop to reduce support issues, malware, and therefore security and productivity issues. In a nutshell, users can’t install rubbish on their virtual desktops.
- System failures caused by hardware failure are avoided
- System failures caused by software issues such as dodgy updates will be fixed by the provider.
- Decreased reliance on having your own data centre/server room.
Savings in Time and Money
Desktop as a Service will undoubtedly save businesses time and money especially when considering the total cost of ownership (TCO) of IT systems.
As you pay only for what you need, DaaS is a lot more flexible. There is a massive reduction on capital expenditures.
There is also incredible financial flexibility, consider the scenario where a business is specifying on premise infrastructure. Do they invest in more capacity than needed in case the business expands? or do they buy something smaller/cheaper that is inevitably too small and needs replacing before it’s time because it isn’t scalable? With DaaS businesses can increase or decrease user numbers and capacity to suit the business needs at the time. Licences, including Microsoft licences, are rented monthly businesses pay only for the licences they need that month, so money is never wasted buying licences that are obsolete when the business contracts, or when the operating system goes out of support.
With DaaS there is a considerable saving in power as no need to power local servers, or run air conditioning to keep them cool.
There is no longer any requirement for IT support contracts. The only IT hardware that needs support are local PCs which are often within the skill set of employees.
PC Hardware will last a lot longer, as not much really runs on the local devices. It is possible to run older, slower machines without compromising performance. Workstation life is increased and capital expenditures on replacing PCs can be significantly reduced. Businesses can encourage Bring Your Own Device policies, further saving on expenditure.
When comparing prices for Desktop as a Service DaaS consider the cost advantages that an independent provider will offer in terms of management and support. Many of the big public cloud providers, the Amazon’s and Microsoft Azure’s of this world, look cheap but require some very detailed and specific skills to configure and manage their DaaS environments, skills that you will have to pay an IT consultancy for, whereas many independent providers will look after this aspect as part of the service. See this article comparing independent DaaS provider Your Office Anywhere with Microsoft Azure Windows Virtual Desktop.
Better Costs Management
It is much easier to predict what your IT spend will be with Desktop as a Service. If the requirements stay the same the costs stay the same. There is a much-reduced risk of unexpected spending to deal with system failures, or hardware failures. Like many things in cloud computing, this is all the responsibility of the DaaS provider.
Disaster Recovery Planning
Desktop as a Service can be a powerful tool in your disaster recovery planning. The ability to very easily connect from anywhere, on any device, means that should a disaster befall your business premises your employees can very easily work from home or remotely from another site.
Flexibility and Accessibility
Desktop as a Service most frequently run Windows desktops, some run Windows and Linux, but the idea is to provides a platform to run the business applications in the cloud that normally are run on local desktops. However, the devices that are used to connect to these virtualised desktops can be one of a multitude of devices, not just Windows PCs, users can also connect with Apple Mac, iOS and Android tablets, and other mobile devices.
DaaS is completely flexible in terms of elasticity, system resources can be increased (and decreased) quickly as business needs demand it.
New desktops can be deployed in minutes rather than days/weeks.
Security and Reliability
One of the biggest threats to information security is data held on users’ laptops, USB drives etc. With DaaS all the data is held on the cloud servers, nothing is held on the local devices. Cloud services providers also invest in multiple safeguards to protect data, and multiple redundant systems in their data centre to ensure reliability. Moving to a remote desktop deployment can be done risk free, allowing full testing to go ahead before a final cut over of the live data.
Cheaper and Easier than a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI solution
Companies familiar with VDI will wonder whether DaaS is any different than VDI. While there are a few technical differences, the main benefit DaaS has over VDI is that it is completely outsourced, supported and managed by the DaaS provider. The “Service” part of Desktop as a Service. Maintenance costs for DaaS are a fraction of that of an on-premise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solution.
You do not need to have any in house VDI skills, or external IT consultancy. In most situations, businesses using DaaS do not need any IT skills whatsoever. The provider will look after everything.
As the remote work force has full access to all the tools they need, whether sat at the office, home office, customer site, or motorway service station using mobile devices, time sensitive data can be entered directly into systems rather than waiting till they get back to the office, or having to relay it to a colleague.
Remote workers relying on dragging large documents across the internet using VPN connections will notice an immediate improvement in productivity as those documents can be edited instantly on the virtual machines.
Is DaaS only relevant for desktops, what about my database servers and web servers?
Of course, the whole point of running a cloud-based desktop deployment is to enable people to work on applications that would normally share data and documents. So DaaS is not just about the cloud-based desktops but additional cloud infrastructure such as database and file servers. Anything that would normally run on servers in the office will run in the cloud as part of the Desktop as a Service infrastructure.
Are you looking for the best virtual desktop service for 2021?
Why not discuss your requirements with a technical sales consultant at cloud computing specialists Your Office Anywhere, who can help architect the best Desktop as a Service DaaS solution for your business. Simply call 01282 500318 or complete the form below.